Album Reviews

Helloween – Straight Out of Hell Review

helloween_straightoutofhell_cover

Released by: The End Records

Release Date: January 18th, 2013

Genre: Power Metal

Links: http://www.helloween.org/

 

Line Up:

Andi Deris

Michael Weikath

Sascha Gerstner

Markus Grosskopf

Dani Löble

 

Tracklist:

01. Nabataea

02. World Of War

03. Live Now

04. Far From The Stars

05. Burning Sun

06. Waiting For The Thunder

07. Hold Me In Your Arms

08. Wanna Be God

09. Straight Out Of Hell

10. Asshole

11. Years

12. Make Fire Catch The Fly

13. Church Breaks Down

 

If you measure the trajectory of German Power Metal legends Helloween throughout time you will find a dip in progress since their epic days upon the releases of Keeper of the Seven Keys and the success that those albums left on the genre. With the change of singers and band members throughout the years some questions whether they would get back to classic mode ever again. Well I think we can safely put Helloween back in their own niche after the success of The Dark Ride  and furthermore now with their new hell blazing ripper of an album in “Straight Out of Hell”. If you recall in 2010 after their last record 7 Sinners came out it  received very well reviews and brought back Helloween and their blend of speed, power and progressive chops to the fold once more. Now on those hollow grounds they have taken it a step forward and solidify their return to shape with a killer release and one that carries the HEAVY vibe to a whole new meaning.

You gotta love lead singer Andi Deris the guy has a terrific power metal voice, but the thing is he can shift tempo up and down and sound like a possessed banshee on a song and then mellow things down to a key and release some emotion as well. On this new record the man just holds up as good as ever and the explosive musicians behind him just keep on sustaining this heavy as hell sound featured here. The new record “Straight Out of Hell” uses concepts from the end of the world theory doomsday scenario that of course never happened among other topics including ancient civilizations, cultural points of interests telling their own stories into these epic songs.

Take for instance the first single “Nabataea”, which Helloween’s singer wrote during a holiday. The song is about the legendary kingdom, located in today’s Middle Eastern region, where the first real democracy existed over 3000 years ago stated Deris on the presser. Is a great track 7 minutes filled with an eruption of guitars and killer drum work. Next is the amazing melodic power metal annihilation of “World of War” an epic transcription of Helloween in 2013 just a smashing track with so many tempo and rhythm changes to make you wet you pants. The straight shooting opening tracks from the beginning of the record on forward take no prisoners and keep the frenetic tempo just pushing full tilt with vengeance, listen to “Live Now” with Deris doing wonders going all out then simply delving into his melodic realm when the chorus jumps around, and you even hear some slow break down midway through the songs to let the story sink in even more.

The guitars are a key point of focus on the intricate number of “Burning Sun” where guitar duos come together via the tasty expert chops of Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner both just duel with authority and precision. Things tone down a bit on the loosely progressive vibe of “Waiting For the Thunder” where Deris takes a step back in his voice and provides a more Hard Rock groove as opposed to the other tunes earlier in the record. Funny Andi says of this song that it reminded him of old school Pink Cream 69 material, yeah I agree with that assessment. The first half of the album just sustains a great vibe all the way down to the ballad “Hold Me In Your Arms” when we finally slow things down.

The bottom half is solid but relies more on the fast formula and doesn’t have as many catchy tunes and the title track doesn’t do as much for me as the other numbers. But in the grand scope of things the record rounds up pretty and fair very strong against 7 Sinners without a question. The mix of intensity  power riff and superb drum work all are taken to a new high alongside the always dependable vocals of Andi Deris. This may be the most polished Helloween record to date as the production sounds as genuine as anything they have ever done. The more I heard the album the more I found myself digging the concept, the groove and of course the musicianship which just blends all the elements that make this band so great, even years after all the records they have made the magic still there. Gone for the most part are the tinkering of the more in depth progressive elements and we welcome more straight ahead power metal bringing the band more closer to their roots then ever before. Don’t make comparisons I won’t even dare this is Helloween in 2013 and yes they get it, they do and make music as freely as anyone and it has worked for them. You won’t hear any complaints from me on this one, great record to open 2013 with a BANG!!!

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    8/10

 

[embedplusvideo height=”281″ width=”450″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/4PKNaVHi4Os?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=4PKNaVHi4Os&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep8754″ /]

Tell Us How You Feel

Comments